September 3rd, 2008



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A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 7.0/10 (22,805 voted)

Director: Pascal Laugier

Stars: Morjana Alaoui, Mylène Jampanoï, Catherine Bégin

Fifteen years after a horrifying experience of abduction and prolonged torture, Lucie embarks on a bloody quest for revenge against her oppressors. Along with her childhood friend, Anna, who also suffered abuse, she quickly descends, without hope, into madness and her own delusions. Anna, left on her own begins to re-experience what Lucie did when she was only twelve years old.

Morjana Alaoui - Anna
Mylène Jampanoï - Lucie
Catherine Bégin - Mademoiselle
Robert Toupin - Le père
Patricia Tulasne - La mère
Juliette Gosselin - Marie
Xavier Dolan - Antoine (as Xavier Dolan-Tadros)
Isabelle Chasse - La Créature
Emilie Miskdjian - La Suppliciée
Mike Chute - Homme / Bourreau
Gaëlle Cohen - Femme de main
Anie Pascale - La femme
Jessie Pham - Lucie Jeune
Erika Scott - Anna Jeune
Louise Boisvert - Mère d'anna (voice)

Taglines: They did not finish to be alive...


Official Website: Official site [France] | Official site [Japan] |

Release Date: 3 September 2008

Filming Locations: Québec, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,500,000 (estimated)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

In Pascal Laugier's previous film House of Voices, the main character is called Anna Jurin. In Martyrs, Anna is one of the female leads' character names, whilst Lucie Jurin is the other.

Revealing mistakes: As the mother is kicked into the pit, a body flinches to brace itself for the impact of the mother falling on him.

Anna: I miss you.

User Review

Finally a movie that martyrs...

Rating: 9/10

i was lucky enough to see this masterpiece at Frightfest this year.

Pascale Laugier's worried about this movie. He was apologising to people who despised it, he was profusely thanking the people who liked it. He is the modern day equivalent of Victor Frankenstein. He knows that he has created a monster and doesn't really know how to deal with it now that it's being released upon the world.

Martyrs truly is a monster. It's a ground breaking, brave, stunning, brutal & moving piece of work that is guaranteed to divide audiences everywhere it gets the chance to play. Even at a genre event like Frightfest the audience reaction ranged from 'loved it' to 'hated it' to people actually going outside of the cinema to be physically sick (really). For me it was the highlight of the festival and i absolutely loved it but I don't believe it's a movie that anybody will truly 'enjoy'.

As others have already given away too much of the story i won't bother with a synopsis as Martyr's is definitely a dish best served cold. Not knowing what to expect makes this a refreshingly shocking piece of celluloid that will hopefully astound you with it's gutsy originality. Written by the director during a fit of depression (that he did not elaborate on in the Q&A) it is an almost schizophrenic movie with two distinct halves and coda of such ambiguity that it is possible to view it as nihilistic or strangely hopeful. It's beautifully shot, really well paced and contains outstanding performances from the two female leads.

This movie is inevitably going to be compared to Hostel and other movies in the horribly monickered 'torture-porn' genre and that is a genuine mistake. Martyrs bears more resemblance to movies like Nacho Cerda's Aftermath as there is nothing here that is designed to be titillating. The true horror lies in the the clinical detachment of the antagonists. In the end, despite all the on screen violence (and there are some truly brutal scenes on display here in the movies second act) the prevaling reaction that this movie elicited in me was not one of revulsion but one of true sadness. Martyrs really is a truly brilliant, surprisingly moving film and one that will remain in my mind, jostling for attention with my other thoughts for a very long time to come. Thankyou Pascale Laugier for creating a monster that i love...


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